On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. Vassar Temple will host a screening of the film, "Complicit" followed by lunch and a discussion with the film's director, Robert Krakow. "Complicit" is a documentary film that documents the story of the SS St. Louis, the ship that journeyed from Germany to North America in 1939 with 937 Jewish refugees on board, seeking to escape Nazi persecution and gain entry into the United States through Cuba. Upon arrival, the ship and her passengers were denied entry, and despite weeks of waiting at sea while negotiations ensued with the US, Canadian and Cuban governments, the SS St. Louis was forced to return to Europe where estimates indicate that more than one-quarter of her passengers ultimately perished in German concentration camps. The plight of and fate of the SS St. Louis is a pivotal event in American Jewish history, one that resonates in the current global refugee crisis, and as such, provides important lessons for present discussion. This promises to be a provocative and timely program.
In addition to being the film's director, Robert Krakow is the Executive Director of the SS St. Louis Legacy Project Foundation, a nonprofit organization that uses education through drama to enlighten audiences on events in world history, include the story of the voyage of the SS St. Louis. Accordingly, "Complicit" reflects the perspective of the SS St. Louis Legacy Project Foundation, which confronts the Roosevelt Administration's handling of the situation. A survivor of the SS St. Louis will also be present for the discussion following the film's screening to share her perspective of this important historical event.
Vassar Temple is partnering with the Long Island Temple Educators and the Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie in this program.
Vassar Temple is located at 140 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY.